Cells that work together to Rid the Body of Infection
“We all know that what we Eat
Significantly affects our overall Health and Immunity,”
“While there are other important regulators of immune system function,
The role Vitamins play is significant.
How this works on a molecular level is a growing field of study.”
Myung H. Kim
(Excerpt from: “Study finds Vitamin A directs immune cells to the intestines”)
In earlier work Kim found that vitamin A also regulates the migration of T-cells.
This is not the only vitamin known to regulate the migration of immune cells.
Vitamin D has been shown to work in a similar way to guide immune cells
to the skin, Kim said. Within the immune system there are
Two Categories of Cells that work together to Rid the Body of Infection:
1- Innate immune cells, the innate lymphoid cells and
2- Leukocytes that are fast acting and immediately present to eliminate infection;
3- and adaptive immune cells, the T-cells and B-cells that arrive later,
but are specific to the pathogen and more effective at killing or neutralizing it.
All innate immune cells are produced in the bone marrow,
but eventually populate other areas of the body.
Innate lymphoid cells, which include the group studied by Kim,
are present in barrier tissues.
While it is known that innate lymphoid cells are concentrated in the intestines,
it has not been known how these cells find their way there, Kim said.
Innate lymphoid cells first gather in the lymph nodes before traveling
to their final destination, and this is where retinoic acid (in vitamin A)
acts upon two of the three subsets destined for the intestines.
Kim and his team found that retinoic acid activates specific receptors
in the cells that act as homing devices for the intestines.
As the innate immune cells then travel through the circulatory system,
the receptors grab onto and bind to molecules in the intestines
and keep the cells in place, he said.
“It is important that these cells be concentrated in mucosal barrier tissues,
as opposed to scattered throughout the body, because these tissues are
the point of entry for many infections from bacteria, viruses and parasites,”
Kim said. “Now that we have established the system of migration
for these cells, we can play with it a little and see what changes
the behaviour and function of the cells.”
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